Los Duendes' new album Me Recuerdas ("remember me") is a digital-only document of an active, energetic ensemble led by Sangito Bigelow, with many guests around a five-piece band.
From the first track, it's great to welcome Jocelyn Waugh and the unmistakable slap bass of Colin Sankey (is this his full band album?) to the party. This is breakup music, this is party music, it's breakup party music. You even have a full-on switch from the jazz intro led by Seb Chamney's guitar, to the vocals that fit right into the bag of this genre.
In "Agua", the Imperial March notwithstanding, Chamney is still leading the way on an even higher-energy number. "Coleslaw" is where the soundscape starts to narrow in on the Peruvian cumbia, chicha, psychedelic cumbia thing, the South American rock with fuzz guitars and certain percussion textures.
My favorite track is probably "Elf-Man", the one that's the most in the psychedelic cumbia style. Gordy Li lights it up on saxophone, whether it's his ensemble parts or his unison with the trumpet or his brief solo.
"Perdido" is not the classic jazz composition, it's another great vehicle for the horns. And then "Whiskey" is a surprise in how much it rocks out and riffs hard.
Los Duendes is an important band. It sticks together for years, crafts its sound, and continues to perform that sound in a variety of venues, not just jazz clubs or just DIY rock venues but both. This is a band by young people from across our community, and they will open doors for jazz musicians to play in venues with a wider footprint than the ones I frequent. All that, while still allowing the musicians to rip within each song and showcase their own playing.
Also worth stating: it's a band led by a designer who has crafted a visual style that's highly suggestive of how much fun the music is, and that can help expand the band's sound into a bigger world, a recognizable entity. Of all the bands that show up time and time again on the gig list but that you may not have heard, this is one to watch.
Me Recuerdas: Me Recuerdas; Agua; Coleslaw; Elf-Man; Perdido Intro; Perdido; Whiskey. (39:38)
Sangito Bigelow - Vocals, Percussion, Guitar
Seb Chamney - Electric Guitar
Lily Towers - Vocals, Auxiliary Percussion
Alan Ruiz - Electric Bass
Max Huberdeau - Drums
Dawn Pemberton - Vocals
Toto Berriel - Vocals
Adrian Espin Samperio - Tres Cubano
Colin Sankey - Bass
Jocelyn Waugh - Trumpet
Gordy Li - Saxophone
Chris Couto - Timbales
Daryl Jahnke - Guitar
Gabriel Palatchi - Piano, Organ